I don’t really know about all those other things, but I know this: when you seek to serve God in the fullness of his calling upon your life, you cannot fail. You cannot fail. What’s holding you back? Run without hindrance. Run with the wind! Like the child that stands up to sing in front of the church, little children are successful by the mere fact that they stand up. The person who rises above mediocrity and serves God in unabashed freedom cannot fail.
“I’m a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the power of the Holy Spirit. The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of Jesus. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, cheap living, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labour by power.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. l have a great hope of His coming back. So I preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problems recognizing me; for my banner is clear !!!”
Run with the wind… no hindrance…
Today begin a series from a most wonderful chapter of the Bible, Romans 8. A month ago we were in Romans 7. In Rom. 7 there is no question but that even for the Christian we struggle, sin is real. Paul says in Rom. 7:18-19 (READ)… we are all insane/a bit crazy. Our sinful nature has a way of hanging on… Romans 7 describes a struggle which is part of your walk with God. We struggle in many different ways. We struggle between what we know and what we do. We also struggle between our better desires and our lesser desires. We struggle all the time, torn this way and that way. That’s what it means to live in this sin-cursed world.
Now comes a giant truth: Rom. 8:1. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Memorize this verse, underline, live by the truth of this verse. The rest of this chapter expands this amazing verse. It means you cannot fail, it does not mean your life will be perfect or that you will never make mistakes. The runner may still stumble, but there is a freedom. I watched on Youtube the video of Roger Bannister when he ran the mile in under four minutes for the first time, May 6, 1954, he narrated the race as it progressed, wanting the pace faster at the beginning, little mistakes as he went along, yet beyond the mistakes, he found an incredible freedom, a race for the ages… The child standing in front of the congregation may be off tune, but it makes no difference, he cannot fail because of the innocence, the joy, the sincerity…
Rom. 8:1 is the topic verse for all of Romans 8. Everything he says—all the way through verse 39—is simply a restatement of “No condemnation.” This does not mean your life is perfect, yet you find an attitude of freedom. Maybe you live in a home where not everyone is a Christian, and there is nothing you can do to change your spouse/family members, but within this old sinful less than perfect world, the Lord says you can find a freedom in your Spirit, through God’s Spirit. There will be a supernatural joy that will well up within you. Don’t settle for mediocre, don’t feel sorry for yourself, but ask the Spirit of God to blow at your back and cause you to run with the wind. The Greek word for Spirit is pneuma – the word pneuma can be translated Spirit, as in Holy Spirit, or it can be translated as “Wind.” Run with the Wind, run with the Spirit of God at your back giving you the extra strength you don’t have within yourself.
There is no condemnation, that does not mean perfect, it does not mean no stumbling… I was so blessed to have parents that always encouraged, even when I failed they loved me, only encouragement, no condemnation… God is the ultimate parent, he knows we will continue to sin, he knows we will stumble, but he does NOT CONDEMN.
The next three verses describe what it’s like to run with the wind: freedom (can you see that word in v. 2), power (see in v. 3) and righteousness ( underline in v. 4).
READ Rom. 8:2. Running with the wind/Spirit is freedom. You cannot fail when you are in Christ… “Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life, has set me free from the law of sin and death.”
The Spirit of God is greater than sin. You Don’t Have to Sin Any More. You don’t have to live in defeat any more. You don’t have to be down any more. You don’t have to go years and years and years committing the same old dumb sins over and over again. Why? Because the law of the spirit of life of Jesus Christ has set you free. I talked to a person this week excusing bad behavior by saying “this is who I am and I can’t be any different! I have to be me.” IMHO, that’s nuts. That is not at all what living the Christian life is about. In fact, it’s wholly different, when you live in Christ you can be different, you are compelled to be different, you no longer have to do that which is innate to your own soul, but now you can live with the power of Christ to overcome your bad behavior, bad thoughts. If you choose to dwell in sin, if you choose to be defeated, it’s because you’ve chosen to live that way, not because you must live that way.
Running with the wind is freedom. And when the Spirit is blowing at your back, you have power: READ Rom. 8:3. In track and field, if the wind is blowing a certain pace, no records are allowed in the races because it is considered wind aided, you have an advantage that is beyond your own strength. Yet the run is still real. When I was in high school the best sprinter one year ran a personal best that was aided by a strong wind, it may not have counted as a record, but nobody had more fun than to better the ten second barrier – do you think he cared.
As a Christian, I already know my abilities are limited, I am weak, but when the Spirit blows at my back and propels me forward, there is nothing more exciting, more thrilling… the spirit within me provides a power that goes far beyond anything I can do on my own. How?
This is what’s going on in this verse: by nature we are very weak. Sin weakens us. Going back to Rom. 7, we know what we ought to do, but we are powerless to do it. We cannot be good enough in our own strength, we cannot dig in our heals and try harder to be good. I like the way one person said it: The law is like a ten foot pole. You could never say to a ten foot pole, “I want you to make this man to be ten feet tall.” A ten foot pole can’t do that. All it can do is measure a man’s height and reveal how far short he is from reaching the ideal height. In the same way the law could never save, it could only reveal how far short we fall.
What we could never do, “God did by sending us his own son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross as the consequence of our sin. Sin has no power because of what God did. The cross means something extraordinarily profound. There is power, renewal, because God took away the power of sin in us.
For those who have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, you can never be condemned because God condemned the very thing that could condemn you, that is, your sin. The price was paid 2000 years ago.
Run with the Spirit. The Spirit gives you freedom, the Spirit gives you power through Christ by overcoming your sin, and one more, Righteousness. READ Rom. 8:4: God did all this “so that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us.” God looked at the obedience of his son and declared that everyone who believes in him gets credit for what Jesus Christ did. When I trust him, what Jesus did is credited to my account. Wouldn’t that be nice to take a class where everyone gets credit according to the highest test score by the top student. In this world that is absurd, but in Christ, that’s exactly what happens.
The moment you come to Christ the Holy Spirit goes to work in your life. He begins to change you from the inside out so that the things that used to knock you down won’t knock you down any more. Where you used to fail, you now succeed. That’s what the Holy Spirit is all about. That’s what running with the wind is all about. You no longer need to live a mediocre life, for God puts his Spirit at your back, no longer condemning you for sin, giving you a freedom, a strength and a righteousness. Righteousness means the right direction, he steers you, the Spirit guides you into doing that which is right: Run with the wind, no hindrance, in freedom, power and the right course.
We may stumble, we may fall, we may trip, we may make a thousand mistakes, we may sin and we do, we may get off the path, we may go astray, we may have a thousand problems, but for the believer in Jesus Christ, there is, therefore now, no condemnation because God has said it is so. You can struggle, but you’re not condemned. You can fall, but you’re not condemned. You can trip, but you’re not condemned. You can stray off the path, but you are not condemned because God has said He will not condemn those who are in Christ Jesus.
When Jesus saved you, he didn’t say he would take away all your problems. No, but he did say this. In your problems, there is no condemnation. In your struggles, there is no condemnation, in your failure, there is no condemnation. In your going astray, there is no condemnation.
Run with the wind. Live in Christ and you find freedom, power and righteousness. When there is no condemnation, you cannot fail. Victory is assured.